KPN Ventures provides growth capital to Wirepas, enabling software for industrial IoT networks
KPN Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of KPN, announced today it has participated in the €14.4M investment round of Wirepas, a wireless connectivity platform for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Wirepas, based in Tampere (Finland), aims to become the enabler of the most pervasive connectivity system for massive IoT with unprecedented scale, density, flexibility and reliability, which enables customers to deploy smart connectivity solutions ranging from asset tracking to smart cities and lighting.
In addition to KPN Ventures, Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment) and the existing investors: ETF Partners, Inventure Fund and Vito Ventures participated in the €14.4M financing round. The growth capital will be used to further accelerate the international expansion of the Wirepas partner ecosystem in order to support customer success as well as on continuous product development. During the last three years the company has successfully built a broad ecosystem of technology partners to serve end users around the globe.
Wirepas has developed “Wirepas Mesh”, a unique hardware-independent radio communication protocol for decentralised networking to power massive IoT applications. Wirepas Mesh software enables a self-forming and self-healing network with every single device making decisions autonomously, but with the benefit of the whole network in mind. The protocol is an ideal fit for solutions that require scalability, energy efficiency, density, reliability and flexibility. The Wirepas Mesh technology can be combined with other IoT network technologies to enable IoT solutions that require specific needs, such as indoor and outdoor tracking or high-density capabilities. Wirepas has successfully created an ecosystem of technology partners that integrate the Wirepas Mesh technology towards end-user solutions in asset tracking, smart lighting, smart energy and sensoring. Wirepas has signed agreements with industry leaders, such as Prologis, Maersk and Fujitsu.
Sjoerd Spanjer, investment director of KPN Ventures: “As a leading connectivity provider, KPN acknowledges the growing momentum for IoT solutions with an increasing amount of connected devices throughout the value chain. IoT networks that can facilitate large scale deployments with flexible capabilities are becoming increasingly important for successful roll-out. The Wirepas team has developed unique best-in-class software for this purpose and is already working with leading international partners and customers. Through our investment, we aim to support Wirepas in their global expansion and see opportunities to leverage Wirepas’ technology to enhance and complement KPN’s IoT network technologies: M2M, LoRa, LTE-M and in the future also 5G”.
“We are clearly seeing that the Massive IoT market is maturing as evidenced by our customers and partners: no longer is it about testing and piloting. We believe in the power of ecosystems where specialized vendors combine their competencies and passion to serve the customer. Together we are delivering concrete and tangible benefits to enterprises wishing to boost their efficiency and sustainability through the adoption of massive IoT. Our connectivity platform is field proven and can be applied for a plethora of market needs ranging from smart logistics and asset tracking, to smart cities and lighting. Wirepas increases end user return on assets significantly and aims to become the most pervasive connectivity system for massive IoT.”, summarizes Teppo Hemiä, CEO at Wirepas.
Wirepas was founded in 2010 as a spinoff from Tampere University, where it was part of a research program to connect an unlimited amount of environmental sensors wirelessly. Wirepas shareholders include founders, Inventure Investment Fund from Finland, Vito Ventures from Germany, ETF Partners from the UK, management shareholders and private investors. The company employs approximately 50 people in 9 countries.
Wirepas Mesh enables wireless IoT networking at massive scale. It is a de-centralized IoT network protocol that can be used to connect, locate and identify lights, sensors, beacons, assets, machines and meters in cities, buildings, industry, logistics and energy – with unprecedented scale, density, flexibility and reliability. It can be used on any radio hardware and on any frequency band. Wirepas has its headquarters in Tampere, Finland and offices in Australia, France, Germany, India, South Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the United States. www.wirepas.com
About KPN Ventures
KPN Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of KPN, The Netherlands’ leading telecom company. It focuses on direct and indirect (fund-in-fund) early-stage investments in Cyber Security, Inter net of Things, Smart Home, Digital Healthcare, Video/OTT, Cloud Computing, Data/AI and Networking Technology. KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. www.kpnventures.com